BEARSKI BATH & BODY
Wife-and-husband team Jessica and Christian Seybold were looking to start a business when an opportunity fell into their lap. The Kansas-based maker of Jessica's favorite soaps and lotions was in the market to sell.
"My sister called and said, ‘Do you want to buy this business?'" Jessica says.
Jessica and Christian in May headed back to their home state for a crash course on soap-making. They moved the operation back to their Colorado Springs kitchen in a U-Haul. Now the Seybolds have their hands full working with such ingredients as goat's milk, kelp, olive oil and coffee.
"The goal is to have high-quality ingredients that are really and truly good for your skin," Jessica says. She has developed four coffee-fragranced soaps that "have been huge," adding that the last few months have been hectic. $3 to $20 retail.
Made by Bearski Bath & Body LLC, Colorado Springs, (719) 201-8221, www.bearskibathandbody.com.
Ed Huesers and Guy Menge built many a snow cave together before they co-founded Grand Shelters in 1998. The company's flagship product, the Icebox, is "an igloo-building tool," Huesers says.
It features a central stake-and-pole apparatus to make for a constant radius, and a form that Huesers likens to a three-ring binder to make bricks from loose snow. It's also a considerably faster means of making an igloo. The company now sells worldwide; Scandinavia is its top market outside of the U.S. "The snow conditions determine your sales," Huesers says. $169.95 retail.
Made by Grand Shelters Inc., Longmont, (866) 772-2107 or (303) 772-2107, www.grandshelters.com. Also available at Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder
and Jax Outdoor Gear in Fort Collins and Loveland.
APEX SKI BOOTS
Apex founder Denny Hanson never met a ski boot he liked, so he set out to create his own. Featuring an outer two-buckle, carbon-fiber chassis and a removable inner boot with a walkable sole, the high-end Apex Ski Boot offers what Hanson describes as a quantum leap forward in comfort and warmth.
"The four-buckle overlap boots tend not to fit right," he says. With the Apex design, the chassis replaces the skier's foot as the boot's structural core, thanks to the inherent strength of carbon, and it's also substantially lighter than a traditional boot.
"It's like a carbon-fiber mountain bike rather than an old steel frame," Hanson says. $1,295 a pair retail. Made by Apex Sports Group, Boulder, (303) 530-3340, www.apexsportsgroup.com.
WAGNER CUSTOM SKIS
An engineer in the Southern Californian golf industry, Pete Wagner relocated to Telluride in 2004.
"I would spend my mornings and nights working on new designs for the golf industry and my days skiing," he says.
Dissatisfied with a pair of premium skis he was using, Wagner took his know-how in custom clubs and applied it to skiing in 2006, developing a proprietary system dubbed the "Skier DNA Fitting Process."
The process looks at a skier's skill level, size and other factors to determine the skis' specs. "The world's top skiers have custom skis made by their sponsors," Wagner says "That's the product and service offering we make available to regular skiers. $1,595 and up retail.
Made by Ski Fitting Science LLC, Telluride, (970) 728-0107, www.wagnerskis.com.